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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

SC notice to Centre, seeks its reply on pleas against ban on BBC documentry, next hearing in April


 Supreme Court in its order on Friday issued notice to the Centre and asked it to file its detailed reply on a PIL filed by veteran journalist, N Ram, TMC MP, Mohua Moitra, and others challenging the order to take down their tweets with links of the contentious BBC documentary.

“Issue notice to the Centre for its reply. There needs to be reply from the Center. We heard the petitions. We will hear it next in April,” a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and also comprising Justice M M Sundresh, said in their order today.

The Apex Court today asked the Central Govt to produce the original files relating to take down the order with respect to the batch of petitions, and said, “No interim order & next date in April.”

“We direct the respondents, UOI, and others, to produce the original records in next date of hearing, in April,” the Apex Court said, in its order.

Senior Advocate, Dr Chander Uday Singh, counsel for Ram and Bhushan, said that this is a case where emergency powers invoked without putting orders in public domain. Tweets have been blocked.

“This is a case, extraordinary case, where emergency powers are invoked without putting orders in the public domain. Tweets have been blocked. It is a serious issue.”

On the basis of the secret order, universities, students and etc are facing actions, Singh saod and sought immediate action in the issue.

The Top Court also noted that it is also a fact that people have been accessing those programs.

Singh said that we live in a nation where there are lakhs of officials. students are being rusticated. This is highly unacceptable. *

Supreme Court’s division bench issued notice to the Centre, after hearing the batch of petitions filed challenging the Centre’s decision to block public access to BBC’s documentary ‘India : The Modi Question’.

One petition is filed jointly by journalist N Ram, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, and TrinaMool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament (MP) MP Mahua Moitra.

The second petition is filed by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma.

It is to be noted that the Supreme Court has earlier on January 30, had fixed the batch of petitions for hearing to February 06, Monday. But yesterday, the Supreme Court through its cause list, in the evening, prepone all the pleas for hearing today.

Senior advocate, Chander Uday Singh, for Ram and Bhushan, mentioned the matter on January 30, before the bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chadrachud, that how the tweets by N Ram and Prashant Bhushan were deleted using emergency powers and how the students from Ajmer in Rajasthan, were suspended for streaming the documentary.

“It is regarding use of ‘emergency powers’ to block clips and tweets, please considerr it,” Singh pleaded to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court was also hearing today the PIL filed by lawyer, Manohar Lal Sharma, challenging the Centre’s decision banning ‘India: The Modi Question’- a BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat Riots cases.

Advocate, Sharma has filed the petition before the Supreme Court, calling the ban malafide, arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Sharma’s plea sought to lift the ban on BBC Documentary: The Modi Question. He also sought examination of the documentary so that the accused in Gujarat Riots could be convicted. The people are being arrested in the case.

The PIL filed by advocate Sharma urged the apex court to examine both parts of the documentary series.

The Central Government should not try to hide something wrong, that happened in the past, the PIL of Sharma, filed before the Supreme Court said. The plea of Sharma, sought to lift the ban on BBC Documentary: The Modi Question.

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